With my first boyfriend I attempted friendship and it was fine at first. We hung out on occasion and I did not mind it. It was fun. But when he got into a relationship I invited him somewhere and he asked me if his new girlfriend could come. (I might also include this is how he announced to me that he had a new girlfriend) I thought about it for a minute I was curious about why he would think this is ok. I realized that by continuing to be friends I led him to believe that this is something that I was ready for; that I could handle being in the same space with him and his new flame; that I could handle seeing them hold hands and kiss in front of me.
Now I recognized immediately just how naïve I and my ex-boyfriend were back then and that we could never be real friends, because if we were real friends he would not have put me in that position so casually. I believe friendship presents itself in understanding and sensitivity towards the feelings of your friend. I did not feel like my feelings were being respected and if they were he would not have presented such a momentous suggestion to me so casually and either been much more sensitive or never suggested it at all.
I never saw or spoke to him again. Since then, I have never been the type of girl that can be friends with an ex. I have to be honest with myself I am just not that type of person that can flip the switch on a relationship and turn it from romantic to friendship. So in my head all my exes and every man I have dated have disappeared and don’t exist and I don’t speak about them, or if I do, I talk about them in the past tense.
Fast forward years later, new guy, broke up and he moves to a different state afterwards which was convenient and I’m thinking “Yes! I’m never going to see this guy again! Thank goodness!” Unfortunately 2 years later moves back to town. I have to run into this guy all the time now I’m like “What the hell?” It’s the most awkward thing in the world to me. To make things more complicated I am in a new relationship and its long distance so I have to deal with maintaining trust with him and having to run into my ex all the time in social settings is not the best situation for a long distance relationship.
My so called strategy for dealing with exes does not work anymore. I think for the first time I have to try to be friends and this is not going to be easy. I will let you know how it turns out. Sigh.
To be continued…